Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Westboro Counter-Protestors Do More Harm Than Good

First off, don't get me wrong, I find the adults w/ the Westboro Baptist Church to be repulsive, misguided individuals. Their message is one of hate and intolerance. But, as an American, I respect their right to share their views, no matter how ignorant they may be.

That said, it seems pretty clear to me the the "Counter-Protestors" in RIC who have organized to rally against Westboro's activities in Richmond today are doing more harm than good for their cause. How? Simple -- they bring this very small, fringe group of hate-filled loonies the very publicity they seek.

First, it seems pretty obvious to me that 99% of the general public would not have even known that Westboro was in town today but for the advertising that the Counter-Protestors have done over the last week.

Second, the Westboro group is a very small group of loonies. Them standing alone outside a building in protest is hardly a big media event. BUT, if you throw a couple hundred counter-protestors into the mix, you've got something reportable, and something that is visually compelling to put on the local news. Of course, that means the Westboro loonies get interviewed, and have a greater opportunity to share their message of hate with the masses.

Seems to me that sometimes the best way to protest something is simply to ignore it, especially when a group is as small and marginalized as the Westboro group is already. Silence does not always equal indifference. Perhaps the best approach is to stop giving these loonies the attention and publicity they seek.

Just a thought.


  1. But what low-hanging fruits do the slackoisie reach for but inconsequential symbolic action and self-affirming righteous ritual?


  2. I respectfully disagree. It was a good day to stare down hate. Plus, I got to see the Virginia Holocaust Museum for the first time.


  3. I also respectfully disagree with your tautological reasoning and will frame it in a familiar manner: it's always a good day to visit the VHM, i.e. not just on days when you feel your sensibilities and dispositions assaulted by a demented family from Kansas.

    Do you really think your actions were consequential:
    --in mitigating the WBC's future exercise of constitutional rights?
    --in mitigating the inefficient allocation of law enforcement resources?
    --in reducing the visibility and/or viability of the WBC?